Tuesday, October 16, 2012
So Are YOU Ready?
Nah. Me neither. Jon and I went to Winthrop, WA for our 5th anniversary. Which is an amazing thing, being both a confirmed lifelong bachelorette and being married to the love of my life for five years now. Just goes to show you - you can't really be prepared for anything.
I find this oddly comforting. I have been raised to be a very responsible adult. Responsible adults are prepared, like Boy Scouts. We make sure we're wearing clean underwear in the event of an accident. We floss. We pay our bills on time, and if we can't pay our bills on time, we pay them in the grace period. We look before we leap. We never fail to plan, because otherwise you are planning to fail. We invest. We have life insurance policies. We dust under the couch. We measure our words, think before we leap and save our pennies for a rainy day. We purchase canned food for the apocalypse when it is on sale, well before the zombies arrive. For heaven's sake, I'm freaking Catholic. I'm a responsible adult with a lovely patina of guilt.
Except that just below the well insured and suitably groomed adult surface lies the completely unprepared mess. At least, that's what's under my groomed surface. Look closely, and you will see some genuine sloth, a smattering of fear, a heaping tablespoon of righteous and completely ignorant indignation, and a gelatinous blob of apathy. And that's just under my right pit.
Confession is good for the soul, they say. Well, I suppose that's true, once you get past the disappointment of realizing that your sins are just as average as your virtues, and the Big Hairy Problems of Your Life are pretty much peach fuzz.
No, I am not prepared for the apocalypse. I am not even prepared for a good long hike. But I took the trek poles along, so I'd look like it. See? Pay no attention to the sweat caking my bangs to my forehead.
Something weird is happening to me. I am slowly becoming prepared to be unprepared. I think this might be why I didn't mind being out of breath and out of shape, yet still heading up a three mile hike with a 2800 ft. gain. In sandals. In the rain. It was hard, I was unprepared, and it was FUN.
I am learning that there is a lot of life I am not prepared for, and probably a whole lot more that I thought I was, but really wasn't. Finding Jon? Nope. Inheriting stepdaughters? Nope. Turning 50? GOD, no. Watching my anatomy slowly succumb to gravity? Nope, not that either.
There's gonna be a lot more I'm not ready for. Parents passing on. Grandkids. Health issues. Presidential elections. Dogs dying of old age. Dreams dying of old age. New dreams popping out like dandilions all over my nicely groomed lawn of expectation. Technological advances. Gas.
So what is the point of this rambling? I want very very very very much to have the honest humility to be completely unprepared for whatever comes next. I know for a fact I'd be terrified to be a huge success at something, much more than I would be to be a complete failure. But I'd like to be okay with being terrified, because it's a sure sign you weren't prepared. I want to let go of the last vestige of thinking I actually know what the heck is going on. Because if I truly believe that God is in charge of my life, then I have to assume that I am not. You can't have it both ways, after all.
I guess you could call it a prayer of surrender. But you could also call it just a reality check. In the end, I want to choose to trust in God and in my own complete lack of ability to fill His shoes. I want to be ok with going barefoot instead of trying to tie His sandals. I want to be a complete and authentic nimrod, going where the trail goes because that's where it goes. I want to do this new every day. Being unprepared like this means being open to surprise, amazement, embarassment, wonder, and awe. Kinda like finding yourself on the trail in sandals, in the rain, with a dopey smile.
I'll be passing on those canned goods for now. When when the zombies come, can I show up at your door? I'll lend you my cool trek poles.
If I remembered to bring them.